Protests in France against the vaccine passport mandate have escalated this weekend after protesters encountered masked people. During the demonstrations in the southern city of Toulouse, unmasked and masked people are seen in a video with 3.4 million viewers as they attack each other with sticks.
The official data reveals that over 120,000 people came together on Saturday, protesting the government’s decision to impose Coronavirus health passes for entering public places like cafes and restaurants. According to protesters, the decision is discriminating towards unvaccinated citizens.
The French Interior Ministry announced that out of 121,000 protesters, 19,000 were counted in Paris, where the police arrested 85 people, and three police representatives were reported to be injured.
People have been protesting against the matter for the ninth weekend in a row, although the official figures reveal that the number of participants has decreased in the last demonstrations.
Furthermore, the official authorities revealed that 140,000 people participated in the protest last weekend, whereas there were 237,000 protesters in early August.
The protest outburst came after the former French Health Minister, Agnes Buzyn, was accused of mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic, whereas the former prime minister, Edouard Philippe, and the current Health Minister Olivier Veran are still under investigation.
In January 2020, when the pandemic started, Buzyn, a former doctor, had said that there was “practically no risk” of having COVID-19 transmitted from the Chinese city and that the risk of Coronavirus spread among the population was very small.
A month later, after not succeeding in becoming the Mayor of Paris, she said that “the tsunami has yet to come” regarding the virus, opposing her former declarations.
Moreover, thousands of people participated in protests in other European countries, including Amsterdam and Copenhagen, who objected to their mandatory health passes.
The EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate, or known as health pass in several countries, was initially established by the European Commission in a bid to offer safe travelling amid the pandemic as a joint platform to be recognized by all EU countries. The document is issued to those fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, such as Moderna, Pfizer, Janssen, and AstraZeneca. In addition, people who have recovered from Coronavirus are eligible to obtain the document, as well as those who have tested negative for the disease in the last 72 or 24 hours.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), 93.9 per cent of French nationals are vaccinated with the first dose of the COVID vaccine, and 79.7 per cent are fully immunized against the disease.